The introduction of Facebook Timeline for brands officially brought to light a very important aspect of marketing through social media: brands must be humanized. In other words, a brand must communicate with its social media audience on a direct personal level. This can provide dividends of benefit for companies, because it increases the trust that customers place in them, which in turn produces positive results in profits.

For the SEO marketer seeking to learn more about, a recent article on Mashable provides some very helpful tips and insights. Read below for some great tips on how a company can effectively humanize its brand on social media channels.

1. Realize that social networks are wholly egalitarian, meaning that there is no individual, company or organization receiving more importance than others. Imbue this thinking into your interactions with customers.

2. Humanize your brand. Create a great working environment that will prompt employees to naturally share stories of their company and brand with the world through their social networks. This organically creates buzz on social media.

3. Keep executives or tops of companies away from managing the company’s main social media accounts. The best people for the job are those who interact the most directly with customers.

4. Provide customers with access to parts of your business. For example, if your company holds an event, have someone live-tweet what takes place as it happens.

5. Treat your customers as your own business partners. Or, have them serve as the face of your company. Think of companies like Dove and Levi’s who have used customers in advertisement for their products.

6. Reach out to key individuals with special products and promos. Satisfying them will help spread the positive word about your company.

7. If your company makes a mistake, own up to it. This will definitely cultivate more trust in your brand.

8. Give fans some work to do. For example, arrange for them to run an online forum or event.

9. Show that your brand is open to debate. Post blogs about relevant topics that can spark conversation.

10. Be present, involved, and engaged with not only customers, but the rest of the social media world. People will only pay attention if you are doing and saying something.

Humanizing your brand has become the norm for marketing on social media. Start considering how your company can start doing so on its own social networks.